KAMLOOPS, British Columbia (AP) The defending champion United States will open the 2016 women's world hockey championships against host Canada.
The eight-country tournament opens March 28 at the Sandman Centre and concludes with the gold-medal game April 4 in Kamloops, British Columbia.
The Americans beat Canada 7-5 in the 2015 final in Malmo, Sweden, to claim a fifth world title over the past six tournaments.
Canada, Finland, Russia and the U.S. are in Group A while the Czech Republic, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland are in Group B.
The top two countries in Group A earn byes to the semifinals April 3. The bottom two take on the top two from Group B in the quarterfinals.
Canada has won 10 gold medals in the 16 women's world championships, with the most recent in 2012 in Burlington, Vt.